Discover the Women of the Hall

These are the Inductees of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Select any of the women to discover their stories and learn how they have influenced other women and this country.

Achievements Year Born Where Born Year Inducted Last Name
Year Born: to
Birth State or Country: or
Year Inducted: to
First Letter of Last Name: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Jeannette Rankin

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1880 - 1973
Born In: Montana
Achievements: Government

First woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Rankin served two separate terms representing Montana, and was the only U.S. Representative to vote against America’s entry into both World Wars. A lifelong pacifist, she worked for peace until her death.

Janet Reno

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1938 - 2016
Born In: Florida
Achievements: Government

As Florida State Attorney, she helped establish the Miami Drug Court and reform the juvenile justice system. Appointed by President Clinton to be the first woman Attorney General of the United States, she brought a personal and professional integrity to the office during times when issues were divided bitterly along partisan lines.

Ellen Swallow Richards

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1842 - 1911
Achievements: Science

The nation’s first professional woman chemist, an important figure in opening careers in science to women. By applying scientific principles to domestic life, Richards became a leader in the new disciplines of sanitary engineering, nutrition and home economics.

Linda Richards

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1841 - 1930
Achievements: Science

Received the first diploma awarded by the nation’s first school of nursing. Richards dedicated her career to creating professional nurses training schools nationwide to improve both patient care and nurses’ skills.

Sally Ride

Year Honored: 1988
Birth: 1951 - 2012
Born In: California
Achievements: Science

First American woman astronaut (1983), when she rode aboard the Challenger into space. A scientist, Ride served as the Director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego.

Rozanne L. Ridgway

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1935 -
Born In: Minnesota
Achievements: Government

Foreign policy advisor under six consecutive U.S. presidents from Richard Nixon to William Clinton. Beginning in 1975, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; her last appointment was Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. A former Chair of the Atlantic Council of the U.S., a foreign policy think tank, her work has spanned almost four decades.

Jeannette Rankin

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1880 - 1973
Born In: Montana
Achievements: Government

First woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Rankin served two separate terms representing Montana, and was the only U.S. Representative to vote against America’s entry into both World Wars. A lifelong pacifist, she worked for peace until her death.

Janet Reno

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1938 - 2016
Born In: Florida
Achievements: Government

As Florida State Attorney, she helped establish the Miami Drug Court and reform the juvenile justice system. Appointed by President Clinton to be the first woman Attorney General of the United States, she brought a personal and professional integrity to the office during times when issues were divided bitterly along partisan lines.

Ellen Swallow Richards

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1842 - 1911
Achievements: Science

The nation’s first professional woman chemist, an important figure in opening careers in science to women. By applying scientific principles to domestic life, Richards became a leader in the new disciplines of sanitary engineering, nutrition and home economics.

Linda Richards

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1841 - 1930
Achievements: Science

Received the first diploma awarded by the nation’s first school of nursing. Richards dedicated her career to creating professional nurses training schools nationwide to improve both patient care and nurses’ skills.

Sally Ride

Year Honored: 1988
Birth: 1951 - 2012
Born In: California
Achievements: Science

First American woman astronaut (1983), when she rode aboard the Challenger into space. A scientist, Ride served as the Director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego.

Rozanne L. Ridgway

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1935 -
Born In: Minnesota
Achievements: Government

Foreign policy advisor under six consecutive U.S. presidents from Richard Nixon to William Clinton. Beginning in 1975, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; her last appointment was Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. A former Chair of the Atlantic Council of the U.S., a foreign policy think tank, her work has spanned almost four decades.

Edith Nourse Rogers

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1881 - 1960
Born In: Maine
Achievements: Government

Massachusetts Congresswoman who introduced the “G.I. Bill of Rights” Act and Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp (WAC) legislation. The “Bill of Rights” guaranteed veterans’ health and education benefits (also small business loans). In addition, it supported research and development of prosthetic appliances. Rogers pushed for equality for women in and out of military until her death.

Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM

Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1882 - 1955
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Humanities

A woman of extraordinary vision and drive, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM founded the Maryknoll Sisters, the first United States based Catholic congregation of religious women dedicated to a global mission. While attending Smith College in 1904, Rogers was inspired by graduating Protestant students preparing to leave for missionary work in China, and following her graduation, she returned to Smith and started a mission club for Catholic students (1905). It was while organizing the club that she met Father James A. Walsh, director of Boston’s Office for the Propagation of the Faith, later founder of Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, through whom she was inspired to establish a mission congregation for women. The Maryknoll Sisters were founded in 1912, and by the time of Rogers’ death in 1955, there were 1,065 sisters working in twenty countries and several cities in the United States.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Year Honored: 1973
Birth: 1884 - 1962
Achievements: Humanities

Trailblazing First Lady and wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. She spent her adult years working in politics and social reform. Her warmth and compassion inspired the nation, and she later became U.S. Delegate to the United Nations. The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights was largely her work, and she chaired the first-ever Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961).

Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose

Year Honored: 1996
Birth: 1810 - 1892
Achievements: Humanities

Early advocate for women’s rights, traveling for more than three decades giving eloquent speeches and seeking petition signatures. Rose sought women’s rights, the abolition of slavery and many other reforms before others took up the causes. From 1835 through 1869, she was often the first woman to speak in public on many platforms.

Elaine Roulet

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1930 - 2020
Achievements: Humanities

Crusader for some of society’s most sharply disadvantaged, children of women in prison. A Sister of St. Joseph, Roulet has created many social reform and welfare organizations. She is best known for her work at the Bedford Hills Correction Center in New York, where she enabled mothers in prison to keep their babies for a year, a program now being patterned nationwide.

Janet D. Rowley

Year Honored: 2017
Birth: 1925 - 2013
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

A geneticist whose research established that cancer is a genetic disease. Her discovery of chromosomal exchanges revolutionized cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Her research led directly to the development of the cancer drug imatinib, one of the most effective targeted cancer therapies to date, leading to 90% of patients with certain forms of leukemia being “cured” where previously life expectancy had been three to five years.

Edith Nourse Rogers

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1881 - 1960
Born In: Maine
Achievements: Government

Massachusetts Congresswoman who introduced the “G.I. Bill of Rights” Act and Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp (WAC) legislation. The “Bill of Rights” guaranteed veterans’ health and education benefits (also small business loans). In addition, it supported research and development of prosthetic appliances. Rogers pushed for equality for women in and out of military until her death.

Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM

Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1882 - 1955
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Humanities

A woman of extraordinary vision and drive, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM founded the Maryknoll Sisters, the first United States based Catholic congregation of religious women dedicated to a global mission. While attending Smith College in 1904, Rogers was inspired by graduating Protestant students preparing to leave for missionary work in China, and following her graduation, she returned to Smith and started a mission club for Catholic students (1905). It was while organizing the club that she met Father James A. Walsh, director of Boston’s Office for the Propagation of the Faith, later founder of Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, through whom she was inspired to establish a mission congregation for women. The Maryknoll Sisters were founded in 1912, and by the time of Rogers’ death in 1955, there were 1,065 sisters working in twenty countries and several cities in the United States.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Year Honored: 1973
Birth: 1884 - 1962
Achievements: Humanities

Trailblazing First Lady and wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. She spent her adult years working in politics and social reform. Her warmth and compassion inspired the nation, and she later became U.S. Delegate to the United Nations. The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights was largely her work, and she chaired the first-ever Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961).

Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose

Year Honored: 1996
Birth: 1810 - 1892
Achievements: Humanities

Early advocate for women’s rights, traveling for more than three decades giving eloquent speeches and seeking petition signatures. Rose sought women’s rights, the abolition of slavery and many other reforms before others took up the causes. From 1835 through 1869, she was often the first woman to speak in public on many platforms.

Elaine Roulet

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1930 - 2020
Achievements: Humanities

Crusader for some of society’s most sharply disadvantaged, children of women in prison. A Sister of St. Joseph, Roulet has created many social reform and welfare organizations. She is best known for her work at the Bedford Hills Correction Center in New York, where she enabled mothers in prison to keep their babies for a year, a program now being patterned nationwide.

Janet D. Rowley

Year Honored: 2017
Birth: 1925 - 2013
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

A geneticist whose research established that cancer is a genetic disease. Her discovery of chromosomal exchanges revolutionized cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Her research led directly to the development of the cancer drug imatinib, one of the most effective targeted cancer therapies to date, leading to 90% of patients with certain forms of leukemia being “cured” where previously life expectancy had been three to five years.

Wilma Rudolph

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1940 - 1994
Born In: Tennessee
Achievements: Athletics

First American woman ever to win three gold medals in the Olympics. A track and field champion, Rudolph elevated women’s track to a major presence in the United States. She created the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help train young athletes.

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Year Honored: 1995
Birth: 1842 - 1924
Achievements: Humanities

African American leader from New England. Ruffin was a suffragist, fought slavery, and founded several organizations for African American women, including the Boston branch of the NAACP and the League of Women for Community Service.

Mary Harriman Rumsey

Year Honored: 2015
Birth: 1881 - 1934
Born In: New York
Achievements: Humanities

The founder of the Junior League, she helped author the Social Security Act, chaired the first consumer’s rights groups, and was instrumental in the creation of public playgrounds in New York’s Central Park.

Wilma Rudolph

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1940 - 1994
Born In: Tennessee
Achievements: Athletics

First American woman ever to win three gold medals in the Olympics. A track and field champion, Rudolph elevated women’s track to a major presence in the United States. She created the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help train young athletes.

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Year Honored: 1995
Birth: 1842 - 1924
Achievements: Humanities

African American leader from New England. Ruffin was a suffragist, fought slavery, and founded several organizations for African American women, including the Boston branch of the NAACP and the League of Women for Community Service.

Mary Harriman Rumsey

Year Honored: 2015
Birth: 1881 - 1934
Born In: New York
Achievements: Humanities

The founder of the Junior League, she helped author the Social Security Act, chaired the first consumer’s rights groups, and was instrumental in the creation of public playgrounds in New York’s Central Park.